History of LPCC In 1943 residents of Lawrence Park began to discuss the need for a church in the community, possibly interdenominational. Since many early members were Anglican and United church members, both denominations were approached, and when the Anglican church declined the group’s request for membership, LPCC was accepted as a new congregation of the United Church of Canada.
In 1945, the present site on the corner of Bayview and Lawrence was chosen. The first service was held in the new sanctuary on September 14, 1952. By 1955 construction was completed on the entire building, including the organ loft and Moller organ.
The Rev. Douglas E. Bradford served as Minister for 37 years creating a warm, tightly knit community for LPCC that has had a lasting effect on the memories of our long time parishioners.
The church has been marked, since its beginning, by great concern for the local community and for social justice. Early on, for example, Lawrence Park gathered the community together to discuss how we could be a more welcoming and inclusive part of Toronto. We have long supported the Out of the Cold program for housing and feeding Toronto’s poor. Several refugee families from Vietnam, The Congo, and Syria have been sponsored and supported by the congregation. Many community groups have made use of our facilities—from Weight Watchers to Tai Chi, from Cubs and Brownies to musical ensembles.
From 2006 to 2008 the church was renovated into an updated community-friendly building with new audio-visual technology and eco-friendly heating systems. The building is accessible to all people, and was designed to include multiuse space for our community.
The Sanctuary was designed to let in a maximum amount of natural light and have a more open, natural and relaxed atmosphere. A new Cassavant organ was donated by the Florence Grand estate. Other generous donations funded a new kitchen, sound systems, and library. Plaques are mounted throughout the church to thank these individuals for their gifts. The entire congregation pooled their resources to make the renovation happen, which speaks to the determination and dedication of this community. The Bradford Room, named in honour of Rev. Douglas E. Bradford holds relics and memories of LPCC’s history, as do the Heritage Room and Library.
In 2012, Rev. Dr. John Suk accepted the call as the new Minister. In 2019, Rev. Stephen Milton was called as co-minister to help the church grow and reach out to the community.
During the pandemic of 2020, our church services moved online on Sundays, and we expanded our regular offerings so they could be enjoyed online as well.
In June of 2021, Rev. Dr John Suk retired, and Rev. Milton became the lead minister at the church. We started to hold services in person in May, and continued live streaming.
In February of 2022, we hired Rev. Roberta Howey as our Young Adults Minister. Her job has been to grow our programming and pastoral care for adults in their 20s and 30s. Later in the year, the congregation decided to make this ministry a permanent, part-time position. You can learn more about the Front Porch ministry here.
In 2022, we also welcomed back Rev. Dr Eric Bacon as our pastoral care minister. Eric pays visits to our older congregation members, and also presides over weddings and funerals for members, and individuals from the community.